Eastbourne Memories - A Victorian Perspective

An Account of, notable events, Persons and town history - online book

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Chap. IV.] A Tour round the Sea Houses.                   47
R. J. Graham relates the following story which I quote because though I cannot authenticate it, it fits in with my recollection of the noble owner. " The inscription * Albion Hotel' on its front was only partially obscured by a coat of whitewash. One day a traveller drove up to the door and entering the lobby called out ' Waiter.' Meeting with no response he walked up and down the passage repeating his cry. Presently the Earl in much indignation issued from one of the apartments and inquired what this noise was about. ' Bring me a glass of sherry ' was the reply. The Earl took the intrusion in bad part, quite unmindful of the inscription that remained legible on his front wall, and he soon after­wards gave up the house." Many years after this the house became the property of an Hotel Company, and under the management of Mr. James Rudd, an Alderman of the Town Council, soon acquired a high reputation. Of course it was a rival to the old established Anchor next door, but that old house of entertainment had a good character and connection of its own. Lord Ashburnham possessed at Ashburnham Park an ex­ceedingly valuable collection of books, the sale of which caused a great sensation in library circles a few years ago. There were also many curios which I made a vain attempt to see in connection with the writing of my book on Sussex mentioned elsewhere when speaking of Parham. Afterwards I heard that some old friends of ours who were staying at East-Bourne, and who were also friends of the Ashbarnham family, were going to stay at Ashburnham, and I sought and obtained their kind intervention for the privilege of a brief visit for the sake of my book, but it was all in vain. The old Earl was inexorable and I did not enjoy the chance of a visit until an Archaeological Meeting there on August 11, 1881, to which I travelled by road, driving from Ratton with Mrs. Heinemann, and so seeing an out-of-the-way part of Sussex which I had never seen before nor since. Lord Ashburnham was walking with his Clergyman once, and they met a labourer, and the Earl asked the parson whether men
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